Funeral Service and the Earth

Posted on April 18, 2019 by under Green Burial
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The carbon footprint of funeral service

Everything we do each day has an impact on the world around us. As individuals and business owners, we should be aware of how we can lessen that impact.

Funeral service providers are no different. Our businesses have the typical challenges of space, electricity, and waste, but we have even more to consider than others. We have chemical considerations that accompany embalming, as well as carbon considerations due to our crematory. But there is good news. We are working with families to minimize our carbon footprint, one step at a time.

Green Burial

Goes Funeral Care provides several green burial options and is one of a select group of funeral providers certified by the Green Burial Council. For these arrangements, formaldehyde-based embalming is not used. Instead, refrigeration is utilized including the use of cold packs when needed. Green burial caskets or alternative containers are made of bio-degradable materials such as pine, cardboard, willow and sea grass; or we can even use a linen burial shroud. Public visitations or church funerals are options that may be arranged within the limited time frame green burial allows. Each situation must be reviewed individually to see what would be feasible. Our funeral home, therefore, reserves the right to disallow a public viewing or church funeral with an un-embalmed body under certain circumstances of death.

A smaller footprint

Goes Funeral Care has always considered the environmental impact of what we do. We talk about alternative options for urns and casket and we consider if embalming is truly required. We are currently researching more environmentally safe preserving (embalming) products from England where traditional formaldehyde-based products are close to being outlawed.

Fully green burial is not feasible in every situation, so we try to look at additional efforts we can make to accommodate families, while caring for our environment. We closely monitor the emissions of our crematory, considering the carbon footprint we are leaving behind with this method of final disposition. To offset our carbon footprint, Goes Funeral Care buys wind credits and helps reforest the earth through the local nonprofit organization, Trees Water and People, Inc.

The future

Our first priority is to each family who walks through our doors. Because we work with so many people, including multiple generations, we have the opportunity to see life through a different lens. We are able to look into the past to help shape the future of our services and traditions, including how those traditions impact the bigger picture.

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